Release DetailsLABEL Media Skare
RELEASED ON 11/1/2007
Belay My Last
posted on 2/2008 By:
From the label that brought you As Blood Runs Black comes yet another short haired, hardcore fed kids playing death metal release, that while having some decent tunes and some potential, fails to make the impact of their label mates or pull from the deathcore pack.
While not as visceral and purely death metal and heavy as say Suicide Silence, Misericordiam, Impending Doom, Job For a Cowboy or I Declare War, California’s Belay My Last have some of the same elements (deep crumbling riffage, death metal growls, blackened shrieks, breakdowns, etc) but also manage to throw in a bit more melody and more not so typical moments into the mix. At times The Black Dahlia Murder and newer The Red Chord come to mind. However, it doesn’t necessarily make for a must have album unless you’re an absolute die hard of deathcore. But even as a fan myself, The Downfall sort of went by with heft aplomb, but didn’t really leave a lasting impression once it was over; there is simply too much material like it for it to really stand out.
All the players are competent and the songs display a technical death metal backbone, as most of their peers do, and to the band's credit, The Downfall isn’t a total breakdown fest nor is it complete squealing chaos, as there’s an intelligent undercurrent in the complexity of the riffs. It's just overpowered by the band's ‘core’ ideals. The first half of the album shudders and lurches by with typical deathcore style and girth and chaos, enjoyable but hardly classic, however at around the full instrumental track “Cognitive Dissonance” (itself a brave move for the genre, not just a mere interlude or sample), the band starts to show brief signs of real potential and a more adventurous take on an otherwise one trick genre. You can actually hear the musicians without Jason Kenny’s overbearing growls. “A Threat and a Promise” and “Mannequin Smile” deliver some more proggy bass work under the throbbing deathcore while “Too Late For Redemption” is an odd synth laced interlude and precursor to “Accepting Fault” which has some nice progressions in it (despite the clapping). “Miss America” has some nice melodic guitar work. As is common with kids these days we get the humorous a cappella hidden track at the end of the closing title track, but it’s self deprecating and actually works for change.
The Zach Ohren (Embrace The End, All Shall Perish, Animosity, Odious Mortem, every deathcore band from California, etc) Castle Ultimate studio sound; thick, heavy and bass centric, though Jason Denny’s (no longer in the band apparently) vocals seem way too forced and clinical, partially because he sounds like every other growl/scream vocalist out there in the genre.
Assuming they don’t break up and the genre doesn’t self implode, a little fine tuning could see the band enter the realms of their peers, but right now they are a purely competent middle of the pack act with promise.
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